Christmas is the holiday that people look forward to in every country. It is the Christian
celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Among the many Christmas symbols are evergreen
trees, candles, stars, angels, bells, wreaths, holy and mistletoe but each country has different customs and traditions. In Slovakia, four weeks before Christmas Advent begins. We decorate our houses with a Christmas wreath and candles. Everybody runs from the shop to the shop and look for some presents. We also send Christmas cards to our friends and relatives. Mothers make some sweets, usually vanilla rolls and Christmas cake. On Christmas Eve, in the morning, we decorate a Christmas tree with electric lights, little things made of straw, glass balls and some sweets and we put some presents under the tree. We don´t eat anything all day, but the Christmas Dinner is very rich. We start the dinner with special Christmas waffles, honey and nuts, then we eat garlic with bread. The traditional Christmas soup is sauerkraut – soup with sausages and mushrooms and we finish the dinner with fried carp and potatoe salad. During the dinner we drink some wine, brandy or Coca Cola. After the dinner we unwrap the presents and we listen to Christmas Carols and we are all happy. Then we watch TV and at midnight we go to Midnight Mass. On Christmas Day we are usually at home and we go to church again or we visit our relatives. We do the same on the second Christmas Day. Some people go skiing to the mountains, were they can celebrate Christmas and New Year´s Eve and New Year´s Day.
Christmas in Britain is a little different from the Christmas in Slovakia. British homes are decorated with ivy, holy, mistletoe, eletric lights and a Christmas wreath on the door. Christmas trees are decorated on Christmas Eve but they don´t celebrate
Christmas Eve. Children put their socks at the foot of the bed. They believe that Father Christmas will come down through the chimney and will fill the socks with sweets. Parents put some presents under the tree and in the morning of Christmas Day they open the presents. For Christmas Dinner they usually eat roast turkey or goose with vegetables, then they have a Christmas pudding which is prepared long before Christmas. In the evening they play some games and watch the Queen´s Christmas Speech on TV. On the next day, they usually organize some parties with music and dancing.
This day is called Boxing Day, because in the past people gave boxes with presents to servants, postmen, etc.
Christmas in the United States of Amerika is not a national holiday, because not all Americans are Christians, but it is a typical winter holiday and all shops are closed and
people have a rest day on Christmas. All shops and streets are decorated with trees and lights. Christmas carols can be heard everywhere. Families decorate their houses inside and outside, too. They have a Christmas tree decorated in the living room. The President of the United States of America switches on the Christmas tree in the Rockefeller Center and after that people switch on other trees in the states. People like having a lot of presents under the tree. They sing carols and Santa Claus comes on Christmas Day and the children open their boxes with their presents and adults exchange presents, too. Christmas in the United States of Amerika isn´t a familly day. Families invite friends, they serve the traditional Christmas dinner – roast turkey and often give parties. On Boxing Day many shops are open although people don´t work.
Just after Christmas big sales begin and large shops sell off their stock at low prices.